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An Ode To The Giver Of Life: A Poem By Femi Fani-Kayode

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Femi Fani-Kayode

In the 99 names of God, the All-Knowing, the All-Seeing, the All-Powerful, the Compassionate, the Merciful and the Great, I offer this ode unto Him alone.

He is the God of the Holy Word, the Creator of all that is, the Giver of Life and the Conqueror of Death.

He is the Holy One of Israel whose coming was prophesied for thousands of years before it came to pass.

He is He that humbled Himself and shed His divinity, who came down as God incarnate in the flesh, who suffered on the cross, who shed His precious blood, who gave up His life as a living sacrifice and who went down into hell.

He is He who overcame satan, death and the principalities and powers, who rose again, who ascended into Heaven and who sits at the right hand of God the Father.

He is He whose Holy Spirit guides, leads, protects, provides and fights for us as each day passes. He is He that is high and lifted up, whose train fills the Temple.

He is He that is awesome in battle, that no man can stand against. He is He who reigns supreme and before whom all other gods bow.

He is He that is more than able, whose Kingdom shall never end. He is He that makes all things beautiful in His own way and in His own time.

He is He that created the world and established the foundations of the universe by the power of His word. He is He that sends out His word and always honors His promise. He is He that makes a way, where there seems to be no way. He is He that makes every crooked path straight before those that love and trust Him.

He is the Spoiler of our Enemies, our Advocate, our Defender, our Deliverer and our Judge. He is the husband of the widow and the father of the fatherless. He is the helper of the helpless and the defender of the oppressed.

He is the voice of the voiceless and the healer of the sick. He is the deliverer of the captives, the provider for the needy and the glory of Kings.

He is the Man of War, the Prince of Peace, the Avenger of our Blood and the Ancient of Days. He is the Lord of Hosts, the Comforter, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and the All-Consumming Fire.

He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Lily of the Valley and the Rose of Sharon. He is the Balm of Gilead, the Blood of the Sprinkling and the Lord of Creation.

He is the Rejected Stone that became the Corner Stone, He is the Lamb of God that saved the world.

He is the Gentle Nazarene, the Mighty Warrior and the Master of Satan. He is the Great Provider and the Author and Finisher of our Faith.

He is our Shield, our Glory and the Lifter of our Heads. He is our Heavenly Father who is filled with love, mercy and compassion, who guards us jealously and who never fails.

He is the Lord of the Universe and the God of the Twenty Four Elders that sit before His heavenly throne.

He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Lord of the Angels and the Archangels, the Lord of the Cherubims and the Seraphims and the King of Glory.

King David asked, “who is this King of Glory?” and He answered by saying “the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle, He is the King of Glory!”

His name is Jehova Sabaoth, Jehova Rapha, Yahweh God and the I Am, That I Am. He is irresistable, unknowable and unfathomable.

He is the God of the Armies of Israel. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is the God of Gideon, Jeptha and Jehu.

He is the God of Samson, Moses, Samuel and Joseph. He is the God of David and Cyrus. He is the God of Elijah, Elisha, Nathan and Paul. He is the God of Hezekiah and Nehemiah.

He is the God of the elemental forces, the God of the Seven-Fold Spirit of Power and Splendour, the God who holds the four winds of the earth in the palm of His hand. He is the God of love and the giver of wealth, slendour, power, magnificence and plenty.

He is the keeper of our souls the protector of our spirits and the guardian of our bodies. He is the Merciful, the Benevolent, the Faithful, the Kind, the Compassionate, the True and the Blessed.

He is Yeshua Hamashiach: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He is One in Three and Three In One, the Mystery and the Power of the Holy Trinity. He is the Ruler of the Land, the Master of the Seas, the Lord of all Creation and the King of the Universe.

He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. He is Yahweh God, the Mighty One, the God of all the gods.

He is the Adonai, the Elohim and the El Shaddai. He is the Lamb of God, the Risen King and the long-awaited Messiah.

He is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Son of the Living God, who came down as God incarnate in the flesh and to whom every knee must bow. He is He who came, who saw and who conquered and who shall come again.

He is the Lord of Joy, the Giver of Life and the Conqueror of Death. We were created for His pleasure, He delights for us to prosper, He displays His glory and splendour in our lives, He is faithful to His word and besides Him there is no other.

(Femi Fani-Kayode)

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Opinion

HELP! RAPISTS ON RAMPAGE!

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By Odunayo Oluwatimilehin

“It’s not consent if you make me afraid to say no” — Anonymous

RAPE is a condemnable, despicable and unjustifiable act; No justification at all for rape, it is a sheer act of wickedness!

We Say No To:

R – Repression
A – Against
P – Poor girls by
E – Eccentrics

The harrowing experience of sexual assault and rape is not peculiar to the female sex, it can indeed be unleashed on any member of society; male or female, boy or girl. However, for the purpose of this write up, my main focus is on sexual violence and rape against women and young girls.

Sexual violence is defined as “any sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or act to traffic, or otherwise directed, against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victims, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work”.

Rape is a form of sexual violence; it is defined as “physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration – no matter how slight – of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object”, (World Report on Violence and Health).

Under the Criminal Code of Nigeria, “Rape is defined, as having unlawful and carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or means of threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of false act, or, in case of a married woman, be personating her husband”.

Harassment of girls by the opposite sex is in all likelihood a global problem. According to data from Justice Systems and Rape Crisis Centre’s in Chile, Malaysia, Papua, New Guinea, Peru, and the United States, about one-third and two-thirds of all victims of sexual assaults are aged 15 years or less.

The Nigerian social media has been flooded with fierce calls for justice, from different corners of the country, following the news of a 22 years old 100 level Microbiology student, of the University of Benin, Vera Uwaila Omozuwa who was raped and gruesomely murdered after the dastardly act inside a church in Benin, Edo State.

Quite a handful of reactions has trailed this sad incident; nevertheless, we shall continue to mount pressure on the appropriate quarters until the culprit is brought to book. We just cannot take it any longer. We are really sick and tired of watching abnormalities become the order of the day in our society. How long shall we fold our hands and watch injustice triumph over our helpless girl-child?

A random case of Vera Uwaila Omozuwa which attracted the attention of the world might have been numbered among the countless unheard and wounded cases if not for her gruesome murder. Cases of rape that are reported cannot be compared to magnitude of such that had been swept under the carpet or allowed to die a natural death in different parts of the world. This few reported cases may be viewed as an iceberg floating in water.

Sexual violation is the greatest injustice anyone could experience, especially in a country whose law on such violations seems to be partially blind to the ills being done to her citizens. Not dishing out deserving punishment to rape culprits will be tantamount to denial of the inalienable rights of the victims.

Spaking of what could be the trigger for such evil acts from the male folks, some have attributed it to indecent and provocative dressing by the females folk which the male counterpart often misconstrue as a subtle and irresistible cue. Other noted triggers according to the male folks are; peer pressure, societal failure, drug abuse, early exposure to X rated movies such as pornography and social media promotion of nudity, as well as joblessness, amongst others.

While responding to Vera Uwaila’s rape case, a Facebook user commented that, ‘Eighty per cent of guys today are rapists; they might not be the serial rapist on the street, but most guys raped their partners on the first date.’ (Emphasis mine)

For those who claimed that indecent and provocative dressing by the female folks is their turn on, please I have some questions for you;

  • How about the innocent girl-child you defiled? Was she seductively dressed?
  • How about the voiceless baby in nappy? Did she arouse the rape demon in you with her innocent nappy?
  • How about the lady in flowing gown you violently raped? Was it her long dress that turned you on?
  • How about fathers who sexually abuse and rape their girl-child with impunity? What is the moral justification for this?
  • How about the married woman whose husband violates her body against her wish? Oh yes! Don’t be surprised, rape happens even in marriage.

For crying out loud, Vera was raped and killed while studying inside the church, what justification has the rapist and murderer?

Let us face the fact head on; most times when a girl/lady/woman is raped, it has nothing to do with her dressing. Rape does not just happen; it takes a state of the mind. A rapist rapes because he has no self-control. So stop selling me the provocative/seductive dressing bullshits!

Listen up, all the above-listed supposed triggers do not provide a substantial justification for rape. If only the culprits were aware of the overwhelming damages and horrific life-long mental torture their victims would have to grapple with, I am persuaded they would have a re-think.

Sexual violence has a profound impact on physical and mental health of the victims. Rape victims are made to suffer immeasurable anguish, some become diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, dissociation from reality, depersonalization. They also sometimes get infected with sexually transmitted infections, have unwanted pregnancies, and it ultimately leads to untimely death.

Studies have consistently proved that gynecological complications are related to ‘forced sex’. These complications includes: vaginal bleeding, fibroids, decreased sexual desire, genital irritation, chronic pelvic pain, and urinary tract infections.

The social approbrium that is attached to rape victims has promoted to a large scale the ‘Silence Culture’, among the victims who are often helpless. It is high time we freed rape victims of rape from our critical hooks; stop the blame game, and encourage them to speak up.

Many victims of rape and sexual assaults do not report these violations to their families or the police because they are ashamed or fear being blamed, not believed, or otherwise disparaged.

Societal reaction that blame rape victims and exonerate the culprits will always create a thriving environment for rapist to walk away with impunity; this ought not to be so.

“We need to listen to survivors when they gather the unspeakable amount of courage it takes to speak up and say “me too”. We need to fight for the people who can’t fight for themselves. Something has to be done to make a change”. – Molly Given.

Charity they say begins at home; the onus is on parents to teach their boy- child to always relate with the female gender with respect and self-control; it should be instilled in them that the fact that a girl/lady/ women walks about naked is not a reason to harass, molest and abuse her.

On the flip-side, parents should teach their girl- child: dignity, self-respect, self-awareness, and decency in all areas, because freedom without caution is tantamount to suicide.

For both genders, the above-mentioned morals and values should be established early by parents for the sake of humanity.

It is high time we came together to fight this menace against our girls/ladies/women. No rapists should be allowed to walk freely in our society without facing the full wrath of the law; as this would curb the crime and signal a warning to intending rapists.

#JusticeForUwa
#JusticeForBarakat
#WeSayNoToRape
#GirlsAreNotSexObject
#StopTheSilenceCulture
#FightingForJusticeThroughTheMasteryOfThePen
#JusticeMustPrevail
#IStandForJustice
#IAmMegaTimmy

~ Odunayo Oluwatimilehin, OYEWOLE
A Post graduate Student, University of Ibadan. 

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Opinion

Racism: Let’s Condemn The “Act” And Not The “Skin”

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By Raymond Oise-Oghaede

The recent unfortunate death of George Floyd in the hands of some men of the Minneapolis Police which has resulted in raging protests all over the United States and beyond could be said to be the hottest news across the globe today. The scenario of the incident could best be described as barbaric and inhuman. This article will choose not to give a graphic description of that scenario as captured by the clip trending on the social media in order not to further prick the emotions of millions of people whose hearts have been wounded by the cry of “I CAN`T BREATHE”. This incident is so gruesome that it would provoke ferocious anger from the gentlest and meekest person in the world. Expectedly, people have wasted no time in condemning the act; and, many have concluded that it was purely an act of “racism”. In as much as one cannot “blame” anybody for so labeling it as a racist action because of the parties involved (“white policemen” and a “black victim”); I am of the opinion that there is the need for us to tread cautiously so as not to throw the world into unimaginable chaos due to the sensitivity of the subject matter. Racism is a phenomenon that has attracted global condemnations over the years because of its dangerous tendencies to tearing humanity apart. As a result of the foregoing; and, in line with my style; this write-up will analyse the incident from a different and unique perspective with the aim of drawing inferences that will be beneficial to all.

Formostly, there is need to peruse the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident to enable us understand the “intentions” of the perpetrators. Obviously, the policemen (perpetrators) were carrying out their “legitimate duty” to “arrest” the victim; but, they “overstepped their bounds” in their approach (especially the one that used his kneel on the victim) because the victim never conducted himself in a violent manner to evade arrest; harm the policemen; and, or cause insecurity to public lives and properties to warrant such a “hard” and “cruel” tactic. In this situation, there will be no justification(s) whatsoever to support the overbearing action regardless of whether their “intention” was never meant to “cause” the “death” of the victim or not. It is rather unfortunate that his distressed plea of “I can`t breathe” was taken for granted and this led to the irretrievable and regrettable outcome. I am almost certain that if the video of the incident is played to the culprits; they will be remorseful and wish it never happened that way. Be that as it may, it will be most appropriate to see the atrocity from a broader perspective as a “crime against humanity” (and not just narrow it down to “racism” per se) regardless of whether the perpetrators where “whites” or “blacks” or whether the victim was “black” or “white”.

Therefore, the “focus” should be on the “act” and not the “colours of the skin”. So, we will be doing ourselves and the world a lot of good by purging our minds of the dangerous insinuation of seeing it as a deliberate or premeditated act aimed at the extermination of “BLACKS” by “WHITES”. It will also be an “incontrovertible act of racism” on the part of everyone who hinges the fight and calls for justice on the difference in the colours of the skin of the perpetrators and the victim. It means such persons would have pretended as nothing happened if the perpetrators and the victim were interchanged; and or, if the parties were all “whites” or “blacks”

As a result of the foregoing, it is very imperative to appeal to everyone of us to be calm and to try as much as possible to gradually purge our minds of the pains and resentments. I know it’s going to be very difficult because of the irreversibility of the deed; but, we have to do it for the sake of the departed and us. Strong and crucial statements have been made by the “peaceful protests” and the outpouring of condemnations over this crime against humanity; it is now incumbent to wait for the authorities to do the needful. Allowing the protests to escalate into looting and other undesirable conducts is demeaning; and, it depicts a defeatist tendency to the justice we crave. Though getting justice for Floyd and other victims of crimes against humanity is incontrovertible; our demands become “unjustifiable” if our approaches and actions portend insecurity to others. The jettisoning of “social distancing” under the guise of protests at this period of raging coronavirus is extremely dangerous and inimical to the wellbeing of everyone. Several lives have been lost to Covid 19 in the recent past and still counting; and, it will be disastrous to compound the situation. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to let bygones be bygones for the benefit of all.

As it is presently, the damage had been done and grievances have been expressed. This is a very difficult situation in the history of the US in particular; and, the world in general; but, I am of the conviction that the situation is still redeemable. It is time for us to have a rethink and do all things possible to discard any act of antagonism, prejudice, hatred, bigotry, ill feelings, and discrimination directed against our fellow humans. We should always see and treat ourselves as one. The US has always played vital roles in supporting countries across the world in their fights against criminality; and, one can only hope and pray that it will come out of this setback stronger. Thus, I am passionately appealing to our “protesting brothers” to sheath their sword and give peace a chance again. We should not sow seeds of discord in our minds that will pitch us against one another. Let us not be partakers of any act that can tear the world apart on racial lines.

Consequent upon the above, I want to also use this medium to implore the US government not to take any actions that are capable of aggravating the situation. Though, it is understandable that no responsible government will fold its hands and watch people constitutes threats to the lives and properties of the generality of its citizenry; the authorities should try as much as possible not to create any avenue that will degenerate to “bad blood” between the people based on the colours of their skin.

LET US ALL CONDEMN THE “ACT” AND NOT THE “SKIN”.

RAYMOND Oise-Oghaede WRITES FROM SURU-LERE, LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA.
He can be reached via email: raymondoise0@gmail.com

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Opinion

Backslidden Pastors Patronizing Occult Breast In Port Harcourt

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By Obinna Akukwe

There is disturbing news within pastoral circles in Abuja concerning some backslidden colleagues whose recent patronage of a certain Port Harcourt based occult woman is a source of concern. This woman fabled with the ability to make people see visions of people’s names, phone numbers, bank details, colors of ladies underwear and sundry secrets. After reading my recent article ‘New Style Prophets : Visions of Phone Numbers and ladies Underwear’, a pastor who was about to be initiated into the Port Harcourt Cult of Prophets, out of little fear of God, sought a second opinion on the issue. This pastor who has a small church in Abuja believes that the numerical strength of his church is not commensurate with his efforts and is desperate to try other means of succeeding in ministry. Therefore, he intended joining the group loyal to the mystery woman before my meeting with him.

Some pastors have confirmed to me that actually there is a woman in Port Harcourt who gives power to see visions and they mentioned the names of some colleagues that patronized her. This woman whom they claimed is so powerful that she can appear and disappear, will firstly demand some indecent sexual gratification from the prospective pastor as signs of loyalty, including sucking of certain organs. After the sexual affairs, she will make some animal cry and administer some other materials and the eyes of the patrons will open to see the spirit world and discuss with some strange beings. She indoctrinates them that there is nothing like heaven, hell or sin and that God kept lots of treasures in the water kingdom to help humanity in fashion, music, movies, politics, finance, health and pastoral work and only those bound by oath of loyalty and secrecy are eligible to access the treasures of the spirit world. They described pastors who are yet to join as slaves who will soon bow to the children of the illuminated.

Many pastors, both young and old ones are being lured into this Port Harcourt cult and within weeks what appears like miracles, prophesy and prosperity becomes regular feature in their congregation. Some notable pastors in Abuja have shamelessly joined the bandwagon while a others stuck to their other sources of powers. One of the recently initiated pastors mentioned the names of a bishop and a prophet patronized by top government officials within the presidency among those who convinced him to visit the woman. Rather than see the entire operation as demonic, he sees it as business and advised others to connect before the window closes.

Another pastor who renounced membership of the cult earlier in the year had to ran away from his base to Abuja when he received constant death threat from the group. He was advised to subject himself to days of fasting at one of the deliverance churches in town which he promptly did.

The situation has become alarming that the aforementioned pastor who was approached for membership, out of indecision and fear of hell fire, sought my opinion, and subsequently paid a visit to a recent initiate. According to the recently initiated pastor, the consultation and oil fee was initially N100, 000 naira but due to the surging crowd, they have increased the consultation fee to N200, 000 naira. Then there are prices for different types of oil. The most popular is called ”seeing oil” which empowers people to see into other peoples secret. The next most popular oil is called ‘do as I say’ which makes it possible for the congregation to do whatsoever the pastor says without any compulsion including surrendering all live savings. There is also oil called ‘touch and follow’ which they use to hypnotize any beautiful lady who comes their way into sleeping with them. There is oil for falling under anointing called ‘slaying oil’. There is ‘crowd pulling oil’ used to increase membership strength. The payment for the oil is different from the consultation fee.

This oil must be serviced and refreshed by constant homosexual, fornication and adulterous activities especially shortly before preaching. The second condition is that the pastor must emphasize on prosperity and motivational messages above the message of righteousness. The pastors will also return to give back a part of the proceeds as thanksgiving.

I had weeks earlier confronted a pastor of a church who recently patronized the woman and was excited that he now sees into people’s future. This man whose attempt to draw crowd to his church and enter the league of super rich failed repeatedly despite numerous efforts, got tired of the situation and decided to help God. His submission and affinity to some senior colleagues for transference of anointing through seed sowing and impartation equally failed until a bishop introduced him to this powerful woman in Port Harcourt. This once firebrand pastor now indulges in homosexuality and adultery and does not feel any compunction about it.

This issue of pastors getting powers from occultist kingdom was first experienced by me as a young pastor in a church seventeen years ago and we observed strange things which we didn’t understand but rejected because it didn’t look spiritually clean. Years later during a retreat at Scripture Union Camp of Faith Okigwe, I came back to the hostel around 2am after prayers and overhead a very senior pastor of a church in Owerri at one corner behind the hostel sobbing and telling God that ”if you do not give me power now to do the miraculous, I will go to where others go to get theirs…” This pastor, oblivious of my presence, went ahead to mention in his prayers ,the names of pastors colleagues who have gone to get powers from different places and threatened God to either show up or risk losing him to the other side”.

One of them who recently joined this Port Harcourt cult , in response to my disapproval said ”man of God, if hunger have wired you, you wouldn’t be talking like this ” while the other one said that he cannot continue to tolerate the sight of little pastors making waves while he continues to be a spectator.

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have not effectively monitored pastoral activities while some pastors have rejected membership of the body; therefore everybody is his own master. This overemphasis on prosperity is killing the churches that now some pastor flock to strange places for spiritual empowerment in order to belong to the class of super rich pastors, accompanied by lots of homosexual bodyguards. The generation that started the Pentecostal revival in Nigeria immediately after the Biafra war, gave birth to pastors like Uma Ukpai, Paul Nwachukwu, Austin Nwodika, Nicholas Ezeh, Williams Kumuyi, Enoch Adeboye, David Oyedepo, Mike Okonkwo and the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa , Prophet Gabriel Oduyemi, among others. The current generation is birthing pastors who flock to bar beach Lagos, Calabar, Kumasi, Ashanti, Tamale and some parts of Cameroun to receive powers.

If these Pentecostal fathers do not hasten to address this evil trend and arrest the influx of strange powers into the church, within the next five years, the Nigerian Church will become a branch of the Marine kingdom and the little fire of the Holy Spirit still remaining will be extinguished. The history of strange powers infiltrating the church started from Simon the Magnus (Acts 8 vs 9-24) who repented at the preaching of Philip but later according to church history as illustrated by Iraneaus and Justin Martyr became the author of strange signs in the church. However, the early church rose against it and temporarily checkmated it.

It is worthy to note that majority of pastors in Abuja who have been approached for membership rejected it outright and it is only few misled ones that appear excited about this Port Harcourt Occult woman. God still performs miracles in churches and pastors in need of such grace should wait upon The Lord in prayers instead of seeking the assistance of unclean spirits. Genuine pastors should shut down spiritually all these manifestations of strange powers before the anger of God falls on both the guilty and the innocent with disastrous consequences.

Obinna Akukwe , columnist via profetobinna2@yahoo.com, @obinnaakukwe

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